I am so glad to write about this FIA PNG MSC fishery announcement because I have been part of this great team of professionals and tuna fishing companies leaders that were and are always looking at the Papua New Guinea tuna industry development. This is the result of a hard work of fishing companies, FIA officers, tuna processors based in PNG and the National Fishery Authority (NFA).
*MSC onboard Chain of Custody Training done to Observers Managers of MINRA, NORMA, SPC, NFA, NFD and WCPFC in 2012
Everything started in Nadi, Fiji Islands in 2015, when I was approached by the former FIA chairman Mr. Pete Celso, under the lead of RD fishing PNG, where he also was the company president, it was requested to assess the possibilities of moving the PNG fishing industry association into the MSC fishery certification.
*RD fishing PNG and NFA meeting for the MSC implementation done in Madang 2016
All the steps were followed to ensure this project, and we started with RD fishing PNG; a fishery pre-assessment was done, a traceability and chain of custody risk analysis were carried out and a full transfer of know-how about the MSC fishery and the MSC Group CoC was carried out with the RD fishing PNG personnel involved in fishing and at the processing factory, several visits to the city of Madang and Port Moresby were needed to train on site, on board and communicate to the National Fishery Authority (NFA) about this initiative.
*Tuna transhipment in Papua New Guinea 2016
We were ready to go by the first quarter of 2017, but politics influenced the development of this initiative and we were stopped by that time.
Finally RD processing decided to sign a MoU with Pacifical and move forward with the sourcing of the MSC certified tuna.
At the same time, the new chairman of the FIA, Mr. Sylvester Pokajam decided to take this initiative and contact all the parties involved and FIA members by February 2018; and later in Bangkok 2018, a very important step was agreed. To propose the initiative to the FIA members, invest on the certification of both the fishery and the chain of custody onboard.
A important meeting about the progress was done in Manila in September 2018 to update FIA members about the progress of this project.
*FIA members and NFA representatives meeting in Manila 2018
The proposal of the FIA PNG MSC fishery goes beyond the sustainable certification of the tuna stocks swimming in the PNG EEZ and AW. The FIA responsible approach includes
The assessment and certification of other PNG fisheries and put into the MSC certification (e.i. Prawn)
With the engagement of key stakeholder from the market, NGOs and the FIA fleet go together for several Fishery Improvement Project (FIPs) to enhance the responsible management of the PNG fishery that will get the certification.
The development of fishing ghost gear policy, procedure and implementation to be followed by the FIA members in the supply value chain.
The development of a management system to improve the labor onboard reporting and control
Transparency with the MSC onboard CoC certification and the support of the traceability from the NFA
It is very important to mention that the NFA is fully supporting this initiative as a joined initiative for the PNG
The FIA has already communicated this approach in several visits to key stakeholders like PEW, MSC and GGGI in London.
The Pacific region is bit by bit taking the responsible management of their own waters, resources and other MSC fishery imitative includes
The Solomon Islands (NFD & TMI) MSC certified for tuna purse seiner and hand lines, and now it is under the assessment for long liner,
The Republic of Micronesia (SZLC, CSFC and FZLC) MSC certified for tuna long liner
The Republic of Kiribati is under MSC assessment for the tuna long liner with a tentative certification date by
Papua New Guinea (FIA) has been announced that goes for the full assessment for tuna purse seiner and FADs.
The FIA PNG MSC responsible approach is proudly lead Sylvester Pokajam and by PNG officers working direct with the certification body and with the Fleet, the NFA support for this certification is priceless and the Director John Kasu has been very supportive.
FIA president and NFA director signing MoU for MSC process in 2018
I hope to see and hear within 5 years more about the FIA PNG goals regarding the responsible management and how the local industry has ensured access to the market, how the partnership with market players have help in FIPs and how the NFA has been controlling all these projects.
Link of the announcement from the MSC website